• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

The iPhone 13 Mini is that rare thing – a compact flagship. It’s a category of phone that only Apple seems committed to (and even then, there’s rumblings that the range might be ending), so if you want such a handset there aren’t many options.

The good news is that the iPhone 13 Mini is a strong choice. You’ve likely seen the score on this review already, so you’ll know that.

We’ll dig into exactly what we like about it – and what we don’t – below, but with headline features that include an upgraded camera and enormous amounts of power it’s certainly off to a good start.

Screen

iPhone 13 Display

The iPhone 13 Mini has a 5.4-inch 1080 x 2340 OLED screen, with a pixel density of 476 pixels per inch, HDR10 support, and a high peak brightness of 1200 nits.

So it’s compact but also fairly sharp. We’re talking an FHD+ rather than a QHD+ resolution, but even on a larger phone this many pixels would be very reasonable, and on one this size you wouldn’t notice much difference if more were stuck in.

In fact, the iPhone 13 Mini actually has marginally more pixels per inch than the rest of the iPhone 13 range. It’s also just an all-round high-quality screen.

Being small is a double-edged sword, as while some people will like its compact nature, it does make the screen feel a bit cramped compared to some handsets. But if you’re reading this review then presumably you’re sold on it being small.

One definite issue is that it just has a 60Hz refresh rate. This makes things like scrolling through menus and even potentially some games feel slightly less smooth than a phone with a 120Hz refresh rate (like the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max) would.

The standard iPhone 13 is stuck at 60Hz too, but with most Android rivals managing 120Hz, or even more in some cases, we can’t see much justification beyond the financial for Apple limiting this to Pro models.

Design

iPhone 13 Design

The iPhone 13 Mini largely looks like the iPhone 12 Mini, but with a couple of differences, including a 20% smaller notch. We’d really like to see the notch disappear altogether, but a reduction in size is an improvement at least.

The other real change is the layout of the cameras on the back, which are now diagonally arranged. But otherwise, this is a very familiar design, with a glass back, an aluminium frame, and tiny bezels around the screen.

iPhone 13 Mini Notch

It looks good – if familiar – and with dimensions of 131.5 x 64.2 x 7.65mm the iPhone 13 Mini is certainly compact. Like its predecessor it’s also water resistant (with an IP68 rating) and has tough Ceramic Shield protection on the screen, which makes its screen more resistant to damage than most phones.

Power

Power has seen a big boost for the iPhone 13 Mini, as this phone has an A15 Bionic chipset. That’s not just faster than the chipset in the iPhone 12 range, it also according to Apple has a CPU that’s up to 50% faster than rival Android phones, and graphics that are up to 30% faster.

In other words then this is one of the most powerful phones on the planet, topping even the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and the OnePlus 9 Pro.

That’s despite a fairly paltry 4GB of RAM, but Apple never packs much RAM into its phones, and this never holds it back.

In real world use you won’t necessarily be able to tell that the iPhone 13 Mini is faster than other flagships, as there’s not much that needs this much power, but it’s perfectly smooth and speedy, and all that oomph should help it remain so for years to come.

Camera

iPhone 13 Mini Ultrawide

The iPhone 13 Mini definitely takes a quality over quantity approach to its cameras, as it only has two rear lenses, which isn’t very many for a modern smartphone, let alone one of this price, but both of them perform exceptionally well.

There’s a 12MP f/1.6 main camera with large 1.7µm pixels and a 12MP f/2.4 ultra-wide camera with a 120-degree field-of-view.

The first of those has bigger pixels than its predecessor, along with sensor-shift stabilisation, which helps keep shots steady and blur-free. The results are superb, but even the ultra-wide – which hasn’t been upgraded so much – takes great photos.

iPhone 13 Mini Night Mode

There are some handy new camera modes this year too, including Photographic Styles, which can make your pictures warmer, cooler, or more vibrant, among other things, and Cinematic mode, which can automatically shift focus when recording videos.

Speaking of video, that can be recorded at up to 4K 60fps, and there’s a 12MP f/2.2 selfie camera that does a good job on the front too.

Our only real criticism of the camera is that there isn’t a telephoto lens, so it’s not up to much for zoomed shots. That’s a shame for such a premium phone, but not everyone cares about such photos.

Features

The iPhone 13 Mini inherits the key features from the iPhone 12 Mini, including MagSafe support, so you can magnetically attach accessories and chargers, and Face ID, letting you unlock your phone just by pointing your face at the selfie camera.

The iPhone 13 Mini also comes with Apple’s latest software (iOS 15), and we’d expect it will get updates to new versions for many years, with far longer support than most Android phones.

Battery life, memory, and connectivity

The battery in the iPhone 13 Mini is tiny at 2,438mAh, but then this is a small phone, and it lasts reasonably well. Apple claims you’ll get up to 17 hours from it when watching videos, which is 1.5 hours more than the previous model.

Of course, in the real world you’re probably not going to just be watching 17 hours of videos, and with moderate mixed use you’re not likely to get anywhere near that much screen time. That said, life is still respectable, with you unlikely to need to reach for a charger before the end of the day. To be clear, there are many phones with much better battery life, including other models in the iPhone 13 range, but the Mini’s life isn’t bad.

When you do charge, you can do so either wirelessly (at up to 15W), or wired (at up to 20W), neither of which are especially fast compared to some rivals. The Xiaomi 11T Pro for example supports 120W wired charging.

For storage there’s a choice of 128GB, 256GB or 512GB, and for connectivity options you get 5G, Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC.

Verdict

The iPhone 13 Mini is a fairly modest upgrade on the iPhone 12 Mini, but the areas that have been improved mostly make a real difference.

The improved cameras and battery life are especially useful, while headline changes like the new chipset and smaller notch are nice to have but less noticeable in day-to-day use.

Overall, we can’t really recommend upgrading from an iPhone 12 model to this, but for anyone with an older iPhone or an Android phone, the iPhone 13 Mini could make a great change, especially if you’re after a compact phone.

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Specifications

Specifications

  • Dimensions (mm): 131.5 x 64.2 x 7.65
  • Weight (g): 140
  • Battery: 2,438mAh
  • Colours: Product Red, Starlight, Midnight, Blue, Pink
  • Screen size (inches): 5.4
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2340
  • Pixels per inch (PPI): 476
  • Processor: Hexa-core
  • Processor make: Apple A15 Bionic
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Internal storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
  • Expandable storage up to: N/A
  • Camera: 12MP and 12MP (12MP front-facing)
  • Operating System: iOS 15

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